Sheoo Mewalal was an Indian Olympian footballer who plied his trade at Kolkata.
Sheoo Mewalal was an Indian Olympian footballer who plied his trade at Kolkata (then Calcutta). His playing position was striker and he was known for his excellent fitness, bicycle kicks and goal scoring abilities. He was born on 1st July 1926 and died on 27th December 2008.
Childhood of Sheoo Mewalal:
Mewalal was born on July 1st, 1926, in Daulatapur in Chitarghati Panchayat of the erstwhile Gaya district (now Nawada district) in Bihar, to Sahoo Mahadeoram and Kusumi Devi. He spent his early days playing football in Daulatpur at the banks of Khuri river flowing next to his village, with the seeds of the tar tree. In 1937, his family shifted to Calcutta (now Kolkata), with his father working at the Fort William, and resided at the locality, Fort William and Hastings.
Family of Sheoo Mewalal:
Mewalal married Laxmi Devi Lal when he was 18, and had three children together.
Some facts about Sheoo Mewalal:
- His footballing talent was noticed by Sergeant Barnett who guided him to join the Morning Star Club in Calcutta.
- Barnett would then become his first coach.
- Known for his ability to shoot with both feet, Mewalal credited Sergeant R. Blackey for helping him with the technique.
- He began playing as a right-in and was eventually urged at the club to play in the center-forward position, considering his physique and the ball shooting technique. he began playing for the Napier club the following year.
- He made his name at the club scoring an important goal in a draw against Grear Sporting Club.
- Mewalal started his senior career in 1938 with Khiddirpore Club which was then playing in the 2nd Division of Calcutta Football League.
- He came into the limelight in 1944 when he scored the winning goal for the IFA XI against India XI.
- In 1945, he joined the 1st Division club Aryans.
- It was his hattrick for Aryans in 1945 against Mohun Bagan in a Calcutta league match that impressed the then Mohun Bagan captain Sailen Manna and in 1946 he joined Mohun Bagan under Manna.
- In 1947 he joined the Eastern Railway Football Club. After spending 8 years with them, he joined BNR Football Club.
- In 1958, while playing in an Inter-Railway tournament in Kharagpur his knee was broken. This incident brought an end to Mewalal's illustrious 20-year career.
- During his club career, he scored more than 150 goals in the local league. He also scored 39 goals for Bengal in Santosh Trophy including five hattricks.
- Mewalal was the top-scorer in the Calcutta Football League on four occasions. He achieved this feat in 1949, 1951 & 1954 for Eastern Railways and in 1958 for BNR.
- He also scored a record of 32 hat-tricks in local football tournaments which record stands even today.
- Playing for the Indian national team, Mewalal's first major tournament was the 1948 Olympics in London.
- Following Games, the team played exhibition games including a game against the Dutch club Ajax winning 5-1.
- Mewalal emerged as the top scorer in the games.
- At the inaugural Asian Games in 1951 in New Delhi, he finished as the top scorer with four goals, and India winning the gold medal. He scored the winning goal in the 1-0 win against Iran in the final.
- He was also a part of the team that competed at the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki.
- He also toured several European countries in the late 1940s as part of the Indian team, and its tours of Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Myanmar and Thailand in the 1950s.
- He was admitted to a hospital in Kolkata on November 14th, 2008, after having suffering from pneumonia.
- Diagnosed with Gallstone, he was again admitted on December 8th and was operated upon on December 19th.
- Having lived on liquid diet following this, he died on December 27th.
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